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Parsegian, Hopkins, and Podgornik unveil Gecko Hamaker, new computational and modeling software

Adrian Parsegian, Physics, doctoral student Jaime Hopkins and adjunct professor Rudolf Podgornik and colleagues unveiled Gecko Hamaker, a new computational and modeling software tool plus an open science database to aid those who design nano-scale materials, as reported in the cover story in Langmuir. News release

Whitbourne comments on humble-bragging for Shape

Susan Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, offered insights into self-promotion and the pitfalls of humble-bragging. Shape

Warner column in The Conversation examines sustainability science programs

A column by Benjamin Warner, Geosciences, examines the rise of sustainability science programs and explains how they serve to address complex, real-world problems with interdisciplinary science in a way that involves the people most affected by the issues. The Conversation

Averill studying the decline of bees that pollinate cranberry crops

Anne Averill, Environmental Conservation, is examining bumblebee colony growth in pesticide-free unmanaged conservation sites versus managed bogs, with the UMass Cranberry Station. Wicked Local Plymouth

Whitbourne tells Gizmodo that selfies are about a survival instinct

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, says the instinct to take a selfie at time of danger is more than just narcissism, it's related to survival instincts. Gizmodo

Pusparini publishes Sumatran rhinoceros research

Wulan Pusparini, Environmental Conservation doctoral student who also works for the Wildlife Conservation Society, has published research in PLOS ONE about Sumatran rhinoceros in Indonesia recommending that wildlife conservation managers consolidate the small population, provide strong protection for the animals, determine the percent of breeding females remaining and “recognize the cost of doing nothing.”, Science Newsline, news release

Randhir and Ekness create continent-wide, multi-factor analysis of climate and land cover effects on watersheds

Watershed scientist Timothy Randhir, Environmental Conservation, and doctoral student Paul Ekness have created the first continent-wide, multi-factor analysis of climate and land cover effects on watersheds in the United States, as reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. news release

Hoque co-PI on 3-year, $1 million NSF grant on energy efficiency

Simi Hoque, Environmental Conservation, and colleagues has been awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity program. Prashant Shenoy, Computer Science, and David Irwin, Electrical and Computer Engineering, are also part of the team. Republican, news release

Kopera interviewed on the history of Connecticut River Watershed

A feature story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette on the history of the Connecticut River watershed includes comments by Joseph P. Kopera, Geosciences, and associate state geologist.

UMass Amherst rises to 29th among public universities, according to US News

UMass Amherst continued its ascent among the nation’s best public universities, moving up to No. 29 in the 2016 Best Colleges guide released today by U.S. News & World Report. The university also advanced one slot to No. 75 in the Best National Universities category, which consists of 280 public, private and for-profit institutions.The rankings continue the impressive progress made by the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, which was 40th in the Public National Universities and No. 91 among National Universities lists just two years ago.

CNS annual State of the College 2015 includes strategic plan preview

Dean Steve Goodwin presented an overview of the new CNS strategic plan to a packed house in the Student Union Ballroom at the annual CNS State of the College. The start of the new academic year was announced with the introductions of old and new faces including the CNS faculty and staff award winners, a new department head and a new chair, and new faculty, staff, and administrators. The three CNS Goldwater Scholars were also honored. Goodwin emphasized that quality education and research continue to be the primary goals of the college, and there are many upcoming opportunities to accomplish them.

Irvine reelected to IAU panel

William Irvine, professor emeritus, Astronomy, has been elected to a second three-year term on the Steering Committee of Division F of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). News release

Design Building featured in Architect magazine

The new Design Building currently under construction was featured in Architect magazine.

Riley says fight superbugs by looking at nature

Margaret Ann Riley, Biology, says the way to fight antibiotic-resistant superbugs is to look at nature to see what has evolved to kill off specific microbes. Laboratory Equipment

Clements says bad weather is the major threat to pick-your-own apple season

Jon M. Clements, UMass Extension, says the major threat to the pick-your-own apple season in the region will be bad weather, hurricanes, hail or even just a rainy weekend. Milford Daily News

Turfscience and management featured in story about weird majors

A feature story on on 10 weird college majors includes UMass Amherst’s turfgrass science and management offered by the Stockbridge School of Agriculture.

Three CNS faculty members awarded Sustainability Curriculum Initiative grants

The UMass Amherst Libraries has awarded 10 Sustainability Curriculum Initiative grants of $1,000 to faculty members and their liaison librarian partners including three from CNS: Ho-Sung Kim, building and construction technology; Elsa Petit, Stockbridge School of Agriculture; and Evan Ross, CNS lecturer. News release

Whitbourne interviewed by HuffPost about people-pleasing

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, was interviewed by the Huffington Post about the reasons some people go out of their way to please others.

Lopes Named CNS Associate Dean for Operations and Graduate Programs

John Lopes, most recently the microbiology department head, has been named associate dean for operations and graduate programs for the College of Natural Sciences (CNS), effective Sept. 1. Lopes will oversee the CNS budget and extensive facilities. He will also have responsibility for CNS graduate programs, graduate student development, and liaising with the Graduate School. Lopes became head of the microbiology department in 2007, when he came to UMass Amherst. His research focuses on the transcriptional regulation of phospholipid biosynthesis in yeast and how phospholipid biosynthesis is coordinated with other biological processes.

Elephants Without Borders featured in Research Next; Chase wins San Diego Zoo award

Elephants Without Borders, a nonprofit founded by Mike Chase ’07 PhD, a former student of Curtice Griffin, Environmental Conservation, who also does research for the organization, is profiled in Research Next. Chase is also a recent recipient of the San Diego Zoo Global’s 2015 Conservation Medal for Conservation in Action for providing data on the status of elephants and other wildlife, identifying cross-border corridors, and discovering new migration routes. The award recognizes world leaders in conservation who share San Diego Zoo Global’s vision to end extinction.

Brigham-Grette addressed GLACIER, an international summit on arctic cooperation, resilience

In her role as chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board, Julie Brigham-Grette, Geosciences, gave one of the few invited scientific talks at the international Summit Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER), organized by Secretary of State John Kerry. President Barack Obama addressed the GLACIER summit at the end of the day. News release

Crosby developing hydrogel-fabric composite, as featured in Chemistry World

Alfred J. Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, is part of a research team that is developing a hydrogel-fabric composite that is both soft and strong and can hold three times the weight of the fabric alone. Chemistry World

Carter and Tew receive nearly $3 million for NSF's NRT program

Kenneth Carter and Gregory Tew, Polymer Science and Engineering, have been awarded $2.975 million over five years through the National Science Foundation’s National Research Traineeship (NRT) program to train a group of graduate students from different disciplines in the use of polymers and other soft materials in the life sciences., Today’s Medical Developments, News release

Geckos have a spring-like mechanism that enhances adhesion as they grow, report Irschick, Crosby, and Gilman

Duncan J. Irschick, Biology, Alfred J. Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, and doctoral candidate Casey A. Gilman, Biology, have shown that geckos have a spring-like mechanism in their bodies to enhance adhesion as they become larger, as reported in PLOS ONE. In 2012, four of the authors invented the flexible adhesive Geckskin. BBC,, Science Newsline, Nature World News, The Hindu, News release

Design Building architects say it uses traditional materials in 21st century manner

A column by the architects who designed the new Design Building at UMass Amherst that features framing and components made of highly engineered timber says this traditional material is being upgraded for use in the 21st century. Metropolis magazine